NHS chiefs face dilemma as some patients wait over a year for delayed operations – South London News

By Owen Sheppard, native democracy reporter

London NHS chiefs are confronted with the dilemma of find out how to scale back the massive affected person ready lists which have gathered through the pandemic.

One top-performing hospital group, Chelsea & Westminster NHS Foundation Trust has seen the variety of patients ready over a year for routine “elective” operations hit “over 1,000”.

In March 2020, earlier than the pandemic started to bear down on the NHS, it had zero patients ready that lengthy.

During a board assembly on March 4, the Trust’s deputy chief government, Robert Hodgekiss, mentioned: “We had been one of many few trusts that by no means had a affected person ready greater than 52 weeks for remedy.

“Right right here, proper now, we’ve bought over 1,000 patients and if we do nothing we’re forecasting a trajectory that that quantity can be over 2,000 by the top of July.”

The figures embody patients at two West London hospitals which are run by the Trust, Chelsea & Westminster Hospital and West Middlesex University Hospital in Isleworth.

A Trust report confirmed that by the top of January, throughout the 2 websites there have been 769 patients ready 52 weeks for routine therapies such as hip or knee surgical procedure.

At the top of November the determine was 533 patients.

The board heard that hospital workers are “chomping on the bit” to get again to regular after the second wave of Covid, which noticed workers redeployed to tackle “300 per cent” of the hospitals’ regular essential care capability.

There are additionally considerations that many workers are exhausted from working lengthy shifts for days and weeks on finish.

Mr Hodgkiss mentioned: “We have a variety of individuals actually chomping on the bit to get began.

“They need to crack on. We’ve bought to do this in a method that balances relaxation and restoration as a result of that’s concerning the workforce not simply the affected person record.”

“We could have elevated annual depart being requested which can restrict our potential to get again to earlier stage of pre-Covid exercise and we must be very aware of that.

“We’re attempting to take a pragmatic view when it comes to the following couple of months as to how a lot exercise anticipate our workers to deal with.”

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